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May 6 -- "Ground Hog Day"

After begin stuck in my home for all this time, I’m beginning to feel like I’m living in the movie “Ground Hog Day.” For those of you unfamiliar with this 1993 movie. It’s about a cynical, condescending and self-absorbed TV weatherman who finds himself reliving Ground hog day over and over again in the small town of Punxsutawney, where he was sent to film a report on the annual event. In the movie, which stars one of my favorite actors Bill Murray, reliving the same day over and over again drives him crazy to the point where he begins to feel like he is going insane. I don’t know about you, but I have to admit that I’m finding that one day is running into the next, which is running into the next, and each morning I have to lay there for fifteen seconds or so and figure out what day it is. Now, I fully understand why we have to stay at home for the time being, but it doesn’t mean I have to like it, nor does it mean that it isn’t driving me a little buggy, too. My routine has been shot, now instead of Bible studies on Tuesday, Confirmation on Wednesday, meeting with people on Thursday evenings, I’m at home watching reruns of “The Big Bang Theory” and “Shark Tank.” At first I thought it was kind of nice having more evenings free, but now after the initial newness of the situation wore off, I’ve got to tell you, I’m really missing meeting with people and talking about God, or the weather, or the Brewers, or the Packers ridiculous draft selections! (don’t even get me started on that one). I miss catching up on people’s lives and sharing mine with them. I miss not being able to visit my family or going out to a restaurant to eat. I’m guessing many of you are feeling the same way, but here is the potential good news. In the movie, the cynical weatherman named Phil, after living for himself day after day after day, in the same day, comes to see a new way and decides to use the time to better himself. He becomes adept at the piano and cooking, but most importantly as he betters himself, he also finds that truly bettering himself, means to live for others. And over time, his day becomes less self absorbed and more absorbed in the lives of others. This leads him to become in some ways a new person. Now I won’t spoil the ending for you – because staying at home, you might want to watch this classic, but it’s a good ending. There was a prophet named Elijah. He battled King Ahab, his wife Jezebel, and the rebellious people of Israel for a long time and it took a toll on him. In a moment of deep depression, he goes off into the wilderness and lays down to die. It is there that the Lord meets him. God feeds him, lets him rest up, and then leads him to spend a time alone in a safe cave, away from the all challenges and mayhem in life. At the end of this time, Elijah meets God in the utter silence of the moment and is strengthened to continue his ministry, which is legendary even to this day. So, maybe the “Ground Hog Day” experience, we are all having, can be used by God for our good. Maybe instead of lamenting what we can’t do, we need to ask God, “What is it that you want me to do with this time? What can I do to draw closer to you and become a deeper, more spiritual and loving person? Maybe this is a holy time that we need to embrace, rather than squander. So take some time today, and each day, and plan to do something that will help you grow spiritually. Maybe when this is all over, you’ll be able to say, “Even though I wish we didn’t have to live through this time the way we did, God did bless it.” I pray that for us all. ~ Pastor Dan

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